This five day Tour is based in Norwich, Norfolk and explores the beers and breweries and historical sights of Norfolk and Norwich. A 'slotter' as Podge would have called it whilst we wait to get to Belgium. We are based for four nights in the Best Western George in Norwich and included in the Tour are a visit to Woodfordes Brewery Tap, a Steam train ride on the Bure Valley railway, a Broads Boat Tour, a visit to Norwich Cathedral, the herring museum at Great Yarmouth, and a trip to Horsey Gap to see the seals and much more. Read more.
We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. If you want something different to the usual Christmas routine, why not come away with us and get driven around Flanders (and the Netherlands) in a coach to eat and drink in warm cosy surroundings and sample the finest offerings of Belgian beer culture. Read more.
This brand new Tour is a four-night Tour staying at the pretty Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo at a beautiful time of year. It will explore the beers and hops of West Flanders at the end of the hop picking season, but will also include a unique chance to find out what was going on with beer 100 years ago in this area. More particularly, what British soldiers were drinking in Flanders which caused so many courts martials for drunkenness to take place, making it one of the top ‘crimes’ in the British Army. Siobhan will give in the field talks revealing new information coming to light in her researches into alcohol and the British army in the Great War from findings at The National Archives in Kew. Read more.
This new six day Tour encompasses an exploration of beer and battlefields in Belgium in the province of Brabant which covers the field of the Battle of Waterloo. We'll be visiting loads of the excellent smaller breweries packed into this area and staying at the beautiful Pentahotel in Leuven, in Flemish Brabant. Siobhan (Mrs Podge) is your guide to all things historical and knows her way round a Belgian beer too! Read more.
This six day Tour is designed for those who love Belgium’s lambic beers and takes in the superb bi-annual lambic brewer and blender open days, the Toer de Geuze. Over the six days of the Tour we will endeavour to visit all of LambicLand's spontaneous beer brewers and blenders. Read more.
We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. This year we are staying for five nights in the city of Antwerp at the central Ibis Hotel and we will spend Christmas Day in a brewery. Read more.
We are pleased to announce this new Beer and battlefields Tour focusing on the centenary of the end of the Great War. We will be staying in the comfortable and centrally based Novotel In Flanders Fields in Ypres. We are planning a day around First World War sites in Mons connected to the opening and closing of the Great War and where the Allied armies ended up on 11 November 2018 when the armistice ended the war at 11.00hrs. Read More.
This Tour is based at the excellent Novotel Gent Centrum Novotel Gent Centrum in the beery city of Ghent. On this Tour we will be eploring beer, breweries, cafes and beer-cuisine restaurants alongside the coast, rivers, canals, lakes and waterways of Belgium. Read more.
This Tour is based at the excellent four star Hotel Keizershof in the beery city of Aalst where we will explore old Flemish Reds & Browns, Lambic beers and barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include a day experiencing the fourth biennial Rondje Roodbruin, a one day tour around the traditional breweries producing the world-renowned Flemish Red-Brown beers. Read more.
This beer and battlefields Tour concentrates on the 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht (Kaiser's Battle), also known as the Ludendorff Offensive - a massive series of German attacks along the Western Front against the allies during the First World War which began on 21 March 1918 and marked the deepest advances by either side since 1914. Read more.
We love Belgium (and winter beers) at Christmas and we love taking a coach full of like-minded people. If you want something different to the usual Christmas routine, why not come away with us and get driven around Flanders in a coach to eat and drink in warm cosy surroundings and sample the finest offerings of Belgian beer culture. Read more.
This special centenary tour visits the Flanders battlefields. If you are interested in both beer and battlefields this is the tour for you and is guaranteed to be like no other battlefield Tour. We will be exploring the Ypres Salient at the centenary of the Second Battle of Passchenedaele, the last desperate engagement of the Third Battle of Ypres offensive (31 July to 10 November 1917). Read more.
This is a harvest festival tour with a difference. It’s based in Lo-Reninge in the hop growing district of Poperinge in West Flanders. We’ll be visiting breweries who famously brew from local hops and tasting their beers. We will visit local hop farms and see the harvest as well as attend the 2017 Beer and Hop Festival which is held in the town every three years and is a homage to the noble hop. Read more.
This unique tour will explore Trappist and Abbey beers and will be a heavenly Belgian beer experience based in Ghent. On the Trappist side we hope to include a visit to the Westmalle Monastery Brewery Tap and In de Vrede at Westvleteren. For the abbey beer experience we hope to visit Averbode, Postel, Affligem and Tongerlo. Read more.
This unique two centre tour is based in Kortrijk and Aalst, two perfect beer towns from which to explore Flemish Red Brown beers and Lambic beers. This Tour will look at wood and beer and how wood can be used to make beer taste interesting. We’ll also be looking at and tasting Belgian barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include the biennial Toer de Geuze on the Sunday 7 May 2017 which is a lambic-lovers heaven and a great day out in LambicLand. Read more.
Join us for an alternative Christmas spending Christmas Day in a brewery! This popular Tour is based at the four star Hotel Academie in central Bruges. We go out every day on our coach for visits to cosy countryside bars, for meals in some of Belgium's best food and beer cafes and wrap up warm for visits to breweries with brewery tours and beer tastings. Get away from the turkey and tinsel and have a proper holiday with us! Read more.
This special Beer & Battlefields Tour investigates beer and the Western Front, including time in the Ypres Salient, Arras (Vimy Ridge) and the Somme. Read more.
Our 2016 Beer & Transport themed Tour focuses on trains, trams and beer in Belgium. This six day Tour is based at the luxury four star Hotel Keizershof in Aalst from which central East Flanders location we will explore, including a trip on the brilliant Belgian Coastal Tram. Read more.
Anew tour showcasing Belgian beer by looking back at traditional brewers and forward to innovators on the Belgian Beer scene. Read more.
This new and unique tour is based in the excellent four star Hotel Keizershof in Aalst from where we will explore old Flemish Reds & Browns, Lambic beers, and barrel-aged beers. This Tour will include the third biennial Rondje Roodbruin. Read more.
Based at the Flanders Fields Novotel Ypres, this is a six day Tour guided by Siobhan McGinn who now has an MA in British First World War Studies from Birmingham University, specialising in Beer on the Western Front. Read more.
This brilliant new Tour is based in luxury downtown Novotel Gent in Flanders most beery city, Ghent, and is themed on a variety of Flemish transport. Read more.
This special six day Tour takes in the centenary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815 just south of Brussels and the 1915 battlefields of the Great War. Read more.
This Tour is designed for those who love Belgium’s Lambic beers and takes in the superb bi-annual lambic day, the Toer de Geuze. Over the five days of the Tour we aim to visit all of Belgium’s lambic brewers and blenders and the best of the specialised lambic cafes of LambicLand. Read more.
This five day Tour offers a fantastic opportunity to sample Flemish beer and culture in Flanders at Easter time and on the weekend of the famous Tour of Flanders cycle race. This Tour will take in a quality selection of Flanders breweries, cafes, museums and cultural sites. Siobhan McGinn our resident historian will keep you informed on tour of the history and cultural background of the sites we will visit including the Battle of the Golden Spurs as we are staying in Kortrijk where it was fought in 1302. Read more.
This has become one of our most popular Tours. Christmas day in a brewery! Fabulous Christmas buffet with meats, seafood and all paired with superb beers from Emelisse Brewery. We stay in a centrally based Bruges hotel and go out and about in our coach each day of the Tour. Read more.
This is a special centenary Tour in October 2014 to commemorate the settling of the front line in the Great War around the Ypres Salient in October 1914. We will be visiting some of the most historic sites one hundred years on especially those connected with the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914) and taking in some of the areas historic beer culture too. Read more.
This five day tour is based around the Poperinge area, known as ‘Pops’ to First World War British soldiers. This region is famous for its hops and we will focus on the hop plant and explore its relationship with beer in the Westhoek. Read more.
Our fifth Beer & Battleﬁelds Tour in this special centenary year is once again fully guided by Siobhan McGinn, MA, currently undertaking a Masters Degree in British First World War Studies at Birmingham University. She will be guiding us around some well known and less well known sites across the immortal salient to explain their significance in the Great War, plus behind the lines to share the latest on her special research subject, Beer on the Western Front. Read more.
This fabulous Tour takes in two of Belgium’s finest cities, the twin Flemish jewels of Leuven and Antwerp, both long famed for their culture and beer. Read more.
Our popular five day Christmas Tour based again at the four star Hotel Academie in the centre of Bruges. The tour will include days out with our coach including a Christmas Day buffet, beer tasting and tour at the excellent Emelisse Brewery just over the Dutch border. Read more.
A superb five night, six day tour and exceptional experience of beers from all the Trappist beer producing monasteries in the world, visiting some monastery breweries, monastery brewery taps and a Trappist beer festival. This tour will take us to the far corners of little Belgium, and beyond to La Trappe in the Netherlands. Read more.
This is our fourth Beer & Battleﬁelds Tour. Our base is the friendly Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo, the site of one of the many Belgian breweries destroyed in the First World War. This Tour will centre on battlefields and breweries in the Ypres Salient in Flanders and will as usual include visits to well known and some less well known sites. We will have the services of Siobhan McGinn as our guide to Flanders Fields, and this year Siobhan will be giving us the benefit of her studies on the MA in British First World War Studies which she began in Autumn 2012. Read more.
This Tour is based at the Ibis Brussels Centre Sainte Catherine Hotel in the centre of Brussels, ideally situated to explore the heart of the Belgian lambic scene. We aim to visit all of the lambic brewers and blenders, some on the superb bi-annual lambic day – the Toer de Geuze – and some on other days so we have more time to spend at certain venues. Read more.
This four day Tour is based at the four star Hotel Academie in the centre of the historic city of Bruges on the weekend of the Bruges Beer Festival which takes place in the Halletoren on the Markt Square. Read more.
We are pleased to announce a new themed Belgian Beer Tour which explores the authentic Abbey beers of Belgium. Read more.
We have once again secured the services of our friend and Archaeologist, Dave Buckley to act as guide on our popular annual Beer & Heritage Tour. This year we are based in the historic city of Leuven at the luxury Novotel. Read more.
This will be our third Beer & Battleﬁelds Tour. This year we return to the friendly Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo, which was one of the many Belgian breweries destroyed in the ﬁrst World War. This Tour will centre on battleﬁelds and breweries in the Ypres Salient in Flanders and will as usual include visits to well known and some less well known sites. Read more.
This superb Tour is an opportunity to taste some of the best beers from the greatest brewing country in the world. This trip is for both beginners and experienced beer travellers alike. The ﬁve-day Tour is based at the fantastic four star Hotel Keizershof in the centre of the beery town of Aalst. Read more.
This three day, two night Tour takes in the Fifth Bruges Beer Festival and is based in Bruges. We also add in an optional Sunday jaunt in East Flanders to the great Bosteels brewery and a lunch stop in Flanders flower-growing district. Read more.
You can also browse previous tours on our old website here.
Podge's Belgian Beer Tours was founded by Podge, aka Chris Pollard back in 1994 and is now run full-time by his wife, co-beer-writer and co-traveller for thirty years, Siobhan McGinn. Belgium suited Podge, both being beerish and idiosyncratic. Life outside the mainstream appealed which is why they spent so much time in a small country known to the few who share its secret delights. This need to taste, experience and know all about Belgian beer drove what would become Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours. Podge liked to tell people that he arranged the first tour so he could take a coach to Belgium and bring back beer for domestic use by the crateload. But that was only partly true. He couldn’t wait to share with his friends what he had discovered and enjoyed. Early tours were fun, exploratory and charmingly chaotic. In the days before Sat Nav to find breweries Podge relied on a ridiculously small-scale Michelin map on which breweries were not marked nor roads named. One of the first we visited was De Bie Brewery said to be in the village of Watou. Podge knew it was located on a street called Stoppelweg but he had no house number. How difficult could it be to find a working brewery down a street you knew the name of? Podge got our coach to drive slowly down Stoppelweg until we were well out of the village and into the Flanders countryside. Podge made the coach stop outside the door of every house, got out and knocked at each door and enquired if they had a brewery out back. He found it. It was a tiny brewery and we had a brilliant time. It was the first of many small, out-of-the-way breweries run by mad enthusiasts which Podge would seek out, visit and support. This spirit of Podge’s Tours remains vested in Siobhan since Podge’s death in 2018 and she is happy and proud to carry on Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours.